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Client: Unique Urban Built

Location: Mawson Lakes, SA

Completed: 2015

Budget: $4.5 million


Paul Gillett

Melanie Ford

Dino Vrynios

Located in the APY Lands in Far North South Australia, the new Mimili Anangu School Preschool consists of a 35-place Preschool & Occasional Care facility, external play spaces and landscapes.

Echoing the Reggio Emilia Pedagogy Principles, all education projects built in the APY Lands are required to adhere to a set of specific education guidelines which aim to provide and support community, diversity, creativity and health. Specifically, for this project, the preparation of food plays a significant role within the community and as such the architecture placed great emphasis on the location and accessibility of the facility’s kitchen to service both the Preschool and Occasional Care wings, as well as the wider community.


The Preschool is specifically designed to act as a gathering point and social catalyst for the preschool / junior school families and strengthen community and civic cohesion.


A remote site, difficult to access with extremely limited site accommodation and facilities together with associated cost penalties determined transportable based construction for the project. Functional brief requirements mandated specific DECS functional spatial allowances and relationships, while transportable construction methodologies drove identification of elemental components for road transport. Strict transport oversize limits governed maximum module size and height. 

Environmental conditions, on site power constraints, ongoing OPEX costs and architectural considerations determined an envelope with sheltering roof overhangs and careful detailing to prevent roof climbing opportunities. Insitu cold formed roof structure was added for the significantly sized rear verandah.

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